Philosophical and literary concerns in Corpus Linguistics

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Chair of the English Department at the University of Zimbabwe, Bill Louw contributes with an account of the philosophical aspects in Corpus Linguistics. He states that the popularity of corpora among language researchers in the recent years relates most directly to the search for truth. Louw takes no shortcuts to express his opinions. In one case, for instance, he expresses his opinion that linguists form “an unscientific community”. As regards literary research, Louw brings out the challenges corpora have posed to traditional (and long-held) notions in literature as well as the possibilities of (re)introducing the social aspect in corpus stylistics. In terms of the literature curriculum, he argues that students/teachers should not be forced to use corpora. Instead, the potential of the corpus approach should be demonstrated as a way of inviting them to follow the empirical way.


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